Pitt Meadows secondary grad Brandon Yip is now playing in China. (Contributed)

Just show up and try, and you never know

Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey’s Brandon Yip living a hockey dream

Brandon Yip has a message for all you kids out there.

Just show up, put in an honest effort – and you never know where it will take you.

Yip, now with the Kunlun Red Star pro hockey team based out Beijing, China, after years in the NHL, says any career has its ups and downs.

“But the best advice I can give youngsters is to respect yourself and respect everyone else. I always try and work the hardest, while having fun at the same time. Be true to your word for yourself and for others, and the rest will fall into place.”

Yip just signed a two-year deal with Red Star, which just joined the Kontinental Hockey League last year. It made the playoffs in the first year. It’s currently coached by Mike Keenan.

He’s also has another bit of advice, a favourite quote, that’s helped him.

“Ninety-nine per cent of life is showing up and doing what you said you were going to do.”

The product of the Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association spent five years in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks, and two years playing in Germany with Adler Mannheim and Dusseldorfer EG.

Now he’s playing the game that he loves on the far side of the world, which includes a grinding travel schedule. However, the league tries to minimize the strain of travel by scheduling longer home stretches and longer away times. He gives one example when the team will catch a 10-hour flight to Moscow then play nearby teams for two weeks, then return to Shanghai for a few weeks. The team is playing out of Shanghai until a larger arena is complete in Beijing.

“I actually don’t mind the schedule because when we are home, we can stay up to a month at a time.”

This year, he’s played in Switzerland, Finland, Russia, Latvia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

“So it’s a cool way to see the world. I would say Shanghai is my favourite so far.”

As for style of play, the Olympic-sized ice allows players more time to display their skating and skill.

“Which is something you don’t have a lot of in the NHL.”

Yip says that coach Keenan is an “old-school coach” and knows how to win.

“I think he’s softened up a little since his NHL days, but he can still bare down on you if you are not performing, which I think is fair.”

Yip says the team’s current home of Shanghai is more westernized than he expected.

“The people are really cool and friendly and there are a lot of them … over 25 million in Shanghai alone.”

And air quality isn’t as bad as perceived. Some days can be worse than others, but it’s not bad in either Beijing or Shanghai and it’s improved in the last few years.

“So far I have not noticed the air quality being poor and visually have not seen any smog.”

Yip says the team is a mix of Canadian, American, European and Russian players and the only Chinese players were all born in North America. The plan is to have the players of Chinese descent play for China in 2022 Winter Olympics.

Just Posted

Being Young: A challenge to those who would stand in the way of women

Women are still campaigning, marching, fighting for their freedom.

Along the Fraser: Just a quiet country drive with Parker

Why we’re increasingly disconnected.

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Ridge RCMP looking for wanted man

Kenneth Lavallee wanted on several firearms related charges, considered armed and dangerous.

Metro mayors to hike transit fares, property taxes to pay for transit projects

Next phase includes Broadway subway, Surrey LRT and replacement of the Pattullo Bridge

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild goaltenders a cause for concern

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

VIDEO: ‘Big time disappointment’ as Vancouver Giants fall to undermanned Kelowna Rockets

Head coach Jason McKee very unhappy with effort in Giants’ regular season home finale

Most Read